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. see you tomorrow. ♪ ♪ >> doug: the violence in syria reaches fever pitch as assad deals with a major defection. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> doug: good evening. i'm doug mckelway in for bret baier. christmas did not bring peace to syria. death toll rises each day with the estimates as high as 4,000 lives lost. president bashar assad struggled to hold on to power, the regime is still dealing with a major defection by a top general. leland vittert has the developments. >> reporter: continues to use helicopter and fighter jets at will. rebels now have the momentum. the amateur video confirmed shows the rebels fighting for back of the pickup trucks and turned in to machine gun carriers and they tighten it on the base. the less equip rebels fighting for whatever fire power they can find or build. this is a school that has been taken over by the assad thugs explained this rebel. before launching a homemade rocket from nearby building. other videos from around the country show free syrian army fighters using the same crude weapon. however, turning citizens to seasonals with little o
of the -- abetter of the assad regime. it put sanctions on serbia for doing all these horrendous things, including supporting terrorism, for occupying lebanon, and other things. assad is a bad guy. his father was a bad guy. the assad dictatorship has ruled for 40 years. the have been ruthless in their power. ally in then's main region. i think it would be a blow to iran if the regime were to fall. we are very cautious. we do not want to get involved in any more wars. think it is enough. i do think there are a lot of things we could be and should be doing to help the opposition and syria. >> such as? >> rough finally recognizing the opposition. we're finally helping to arm the opposition. we do not want u.s. troops on the ground. but i do think it is very important and that we work in -- collaboration?e helpin >> we're helping to arm the opposition? >> we're working with our allies to make sure that the allies except arms. -- get arms. it cannot be a blank check. unfortunately, some of the rebels have been infiltrated by al qaeda. i think assad should leave. his days are numbered. he either signs a
power and the russians aren't interested in plan that leaves assad in power. the russian speak of a bloody chaos that could occur, the rebels are making significant gains, gaining momentum. one rebel fighter says we're going to fight all the way to bashar al-assad palace. you have the priors for both sides, sectarian civil war and proxy war in the sense russia and iran are protecting assad and the other gulf states are supporting the rebels that are fighting fiercely. as long as they're willing to keep fighting, proxies supply them with money, political cover and weapons, so it's difficult to see how a peaceful solution will happen while everybody on the sidelines is pouring money in to continue the war. >> neil: the. >> the civil war in syria contributing to a growing refugee crisis. >> crisis is putting it lightly. there's 150,000 refugees in turkey. that number is growing expo tensionally. not only are people flowing across the border into turkey and jordan. thousands a day are trying to flee their homes and flee this violence. these people have to be fed, closed and during
defects to the rebels claiming the assad regime is using chemical weapons. has the u.s.'s so-called red line for intervention been crossed? more "money" is coming up. you can bank on it. ♪ adam: drivers have something to be cheerful about this holiday season. gas costs are guzzling less and less of your money. prices have been tumbling and at their lowest level in a year according to the latest lundberg survey but some experts are warning the good times could be coming to an end. joining me with more what could happen in the new year, oscar carbone, welcome back to medical list seas program. i'm filling in for her. i will challenge you here. six months ago we were creaming $5 gasoline and it never happened. so what do you think? are gas prices keeping going down or i think you believe gas prices are going up? >> there are two schools of thought. first gasoline prices have been cheap lately over the past few weeks. we had a huge build-up in stocks, gasoline stocks. we had the price of gas come down a little bit but what you will find i'm a very technical trader and the charts tell us s
general decided to defect to join the uprising against the sir ran president assad. the head of the military police appeared in a video aired on middle eastern news saying he's joining, quote, the people's revolution because, quoting again, the army derailed from the basic mission of protecting people and has become a gang for killing and destruction. this could be one of the most senior military defections in the nearly two-year long civil war that activists say killed more than 40,000 people but it has not stopped the syrian government from attacking its own men, women, and children. a human rights group reports the regime shelled a bakery and killed 20 people, including at least eight children. we cannot independently confirm that. we're joined by a journalist who specializes on middle east affairs. this is a significant defection, lisa, and it appears from the you don't see that you have bashar al-assad losing his grip on power. >> absolutely. this is one of the most significant diminishing of power for the bashar al-assad regime. we've seen the military be a full support
for the middle list -- for the middle east here at cnp. we will discuss what is in store for the post-assad syria. mark twain once said that news of my death has been greatly exaggerated. since the spring of 2011, that was probably the case for the assad regime of syria. but in the last couple of months, we have seen things changing. we see robling territory, not just attacking and retreating, but actually holding ground. we have seen the russians equivocating on their support for the assad regime. and we have even seen regime insiders, of the syrian vice- president saying yesterday that the regime cannot win militarily. so the end may finally near for the assad regime, but many questions remain. what would a post-assad government look like? would it be tolerant of the many minority groups in syria? despite the fall of the regime, it has been very tolerant of minorities, except for the kurds. and there's a lot of fear among minorities about what will take place when the assad regime falls. and what happens to the syrian state as a whole? will it break apart? this is not beyond the realm of possib
action against bashar al-assad. russia invited the head of the movement to russia for peace talks. today the opposition leader said he won't go. and he demanded an apology from russia for supporting president assad. leland vitter, why won't the rebels step down? >> trace, simply put, the rebels don't view russia as an honest broker. he'd been supporting assad two years. the rebels believe time is on their side. if you look at the latest video that's coming out of syria, a rebel army is better organized, better armed, better equipped, they've taken areas in the north and are tightened the noose on assad's power basis, the cities in the central part of the country like the capital of damascus. they also believe they can fight all the way to pushing president assad out of power. that may be what the russians are most worried about. russians have a key naval base in the city of tartoose and may are worried if rebels come in, they'll lose any influence inside of syria and are starting to beginning the process of hedging bets against assad and see if they can make inroads with the rebels. >> t
for weeks laying siege before making the final push tkafrplt thpush today. the regime of bashar al-assad has losing control of the territory in the pass few months. >> many u.s. servicemen are expressing a desire to be with their families. for now they have each other and a pretty nice spread to boot. >> i wish i could be home with family and friends but all the people are so cool. >> this is a time where everyone gets together and shares good food, and laughter, and it's a good time of year. i certainly would like to westbound my family at home but we're serving here in afghanistan for a good cause so i'm happy to be there. >> no soldier left behind. nato forces are due to withdraw from the country on 2014, they are speeding up the efforts to train the afghan military units before they pull out. >> it looks like george h.w. bush will be spending his christmas in the hospital. he has been undergoing treatment for a bronchitis-like cough since november. doctors are cautiously optimistic that president bush's son, former president george w. bush has been among the visitors at the hospital. no
saying they will discuss putting down the weapons when bashar assad leaves power. are you are russia long supported assad with weapons and host to russia only foreign naval base in the syrian city of tarqtus. with assad's army playing defense, the russian peace plan appears to be an attempt to hedge their bet on assad making the inroads with the rebels. that will be hard. as rebel video uploaded to youtube show unexploded russian made bombs littering the syrian cities. this is a bomb fired on civilians in aleppo explains a rebel fighter with the russian writing clearly visible on the weapon's fin. most bomb, though, explode, like this one caught on amateur video yesterday. nearly every day they post video of recruit joining the fight. the flag visible above the rocket propelled grenade and machine gun. jihadists are often the best ware warriors. recent reports show they lay siege to military north. battle led by the hardcore islamist fighters. russia pith from the staunch ally of the syrian regime to attempted peace broker lanelly a distinction without a difference. assad has unwavering s
government. both the assad regime and the opposition rejected it because it would involve the two sides sharing power. now they want to revive the plan but is it desirable? >> the reason simply because assad once he begins to loosen the absolute control of he has of everybody around him in the military he is severely weakened and very vulnerable to being killed even by the people around him. so he knows that in the back of his mind. it is all or nothing proposition for him similar to saddam hussein and qaddafi. even the rebels themselves. they have lost 40,000 in this fight and they're not about to share power with anybody. particularly the assad government. i mean these are people they have been fighting now for almost two years. patti ann: yeah. >> so it's not in the cards. patti ann: yeah. and the plan is vague when it comes to assad specifically during that summer meeting in geneva. there was a push to call specifically for assad's ouster but russia opposed that. and as you say, assad is not going to go quietly. russia though very involved. how important is russia's role in all of t
the syria president bashar assad. russia someone of syria's last allies and has rejected all united nations efforts to take action against the aassad. leland vittert with the news live from our middle east bureau. leland, why why don't the rebels want to negotiate? >> quite frankly, right now, harris, they don't have to. time is is on their side. momentum son their side. they are beginning to tighten the noose on president assad. especially around his capital damascus. secondly the rebels don't really believe the russians. they don't trust them as honest brokers and perhaps that's with good reason. rebel videos uploaded to youtube show russian made bombs uploaded. this is a boom fired on cities aleppo with the russian writing clearly visible on the weapon's fenn. most bombs though explode like this one caught on amateur video yesterday as it was dropped from a low-flying russian-made meg. russia has long supported assad with weapons and protected diplomatically as key ally and hope to russian's only foreign rebel naval base. with assad's army now playing defense, the russian peace plan appe
the rebels are certainly getting pounded by bashar al-assad's air force from above and his air force still controls much of the skies. its becoming a particularly critical situation on the ground inside a number of the rebel strongholds because the medical supply shortage is happening. you have these mass casualty events like the bomb eupblgs and therbombings and there is really no way to treat the victims. the rebels are gaining momentum, better armed and organized, better command and control facilities there inside of northern syria and they are trying to push into a number of towns which are controlled by those loyal to president bashar al-assad. this will be a real test for the rebels in the coming weeks because they have been used to mounting their attacks in the relative safety of cities which supported them and now awful a sudden they will be operating in truly hostile environments where they do not have the hearts and minds of the people themselves. the latest reports out of syria, though, show no progress on the diplomatic front. so far the one peace enjoy who has been able to mee
with high government level officials about syrian president bashir al assad. he's been involved in a nearly two-year civil war that has seen the death of nearly 40,000 people. bring in a senior fellow at the washington institute for middle east policy. thanks for being with us. we appreciate it. let's talk about president bashar al assad's options even if he did, let's say, want to make it out hastily by syria. by some accounts i understand he wouldn't even be able to go. why is that? >> well, at this point, president assad has murdered so many of his own people, that it's difficult for him to stay within the country, even in the homeland of his sect, on the syrian coast. or for other countries to accept him, because they realize that in a post-assad syria, a more democratic one, that the syrian people are going to be very angry at whatever country holds president assad. and then, of course, there's the issue of his own personal security. you can just end up with a bullet in the back of his head, and that's why many believe he'll simply go off to tehran, to syria's main alley. >> so they be
about the regime and president assad because he is now joining the rebels. this is may be why the russians are starting to think about talking to people. there are report that is the syrian deputy foreign minister now in moscow for talks possibly trying to negotiate some kind of settlement, some kind of transition. how that would look where it would be anrd early transition rather than this civil war pushing out what is left with the regime whether that would be okay with the syrian rebels is left to be seen. the number one thing to watch is russia but the wildcard here is iran. they have been key to their support of president assad, sending him weapons, even men and members of the revolutionary guard to help fight and lead syrian soldiers in this civil war. if russia goes by the side and tries to negotiate a settlement you look to iran and does iran continue to push president assad, continue to support him, or, does iran back down? that is what we'll actually see some change there on the ground in syria, jamie. jamie: i think you hit it on the head because clearly iran is med
palmer visited the town in southern syria that's alive with assad regime. >> reporter: conflict has engulfed syria over the past 21 months from one end of the country to the other, but so far it's barely touched the town in southern syria near the border with jordan. the people who live here are a religious group that's allied itself with president bashir al assad. when we arooived in town to meet the governor syrian state media was waiting for it. they're anxious to show care its community showing supporters willing to reinforce the party line, that it's not a civil war but a terrorist campaign by foreign-backed extreme rifts. >> so are you afraid they'll come here to your city? >> of course, we're afraid, the governor told me, if the countries who support al qaeda and the jihadees don't stop, the conflict will come here. so far local authorities have kept it at baby supporting violent crackdowns on the slightest sign of anti-regime protests. the strategy worked because government critics in this community were always a vocal but small minority. it's made sway da an island of calm
for parks, and is urging president bashar al-assad to do the same. they say russia must first condemn the president before dialogue him take place. russia says the transitional government should be put in place, with bashar al-assad staying in power. >> we have already had dialogue in cairo. we expressed readiness to meet with them, and are still ready. as we understand, they do not have any objection regarding the offer to leave. we are against interference from outside parties in syria. we understand we need a ceasefire. we agreed the geneva convention contains the elements to move forward for political settlement. >> in the caesarian title, schilling has devastated large parts of the city, including a large suburbs. the rebels say they have also made gains in eastern syria. fighters say they have captured this oil field. tens of thousands of mainly sunni iraqis turned out to protest the government. they are accusing maliki of marginalizing sunni leaders. >> a sea of people gathering in the provincial capital. and there is mounting a, and mistrust of the government is -- anger is mo
assad in this conflict. they don't really want to deal with the russians, hence turning down the invitation. the rebels now think time is on their side. the momentum is on the battlefield has shifted. for so long the rebels were outgunned and outmaneuvered. they hold major parts of northern part of the syria and major population centers in the center of the country that president assad up till now had control. one rebel fighter said we'll fight all the way to president assad's palace. the rebels don't see a reason to negotiate while president assad is in power. the while the offer from the russians may not be so significant is the fact they're making it is significant. russia has a very critical port along the syrian course along the mediterranean the port of tartuse. russia is trying very hard to keep tear influence inside syria and may be trying to play both sides of the coin here. they want to keep assad so they have influence with him and to hedge their bet to gain as much influence with the syrian rebels so if the rebels win they get to keep the port which is their only
to figure out a way to at least put their toe in the water, figuring a way to move president assad out. it doesn't appear at least that the russians have any altruistic values in it operation than they're likely to save their own influence inside syria than let jihadists or something take over that they can't talk to considering how serious russia and syria have been as allies the last couple years. look what is going on the ground. a general in charge of the military defense group, the military police there inside of afghanistan, inside of syria, pardon me, he just redecked over to turkey and is joining the rebels. this is the most serious high-ranking defects we've seen in a while. that shows another part of the momentum turning toward the rebels, away from the government who are becoming increasingly isolated inside of their cities, unable to project power. the army we heard is running out of supplies, though russia is still resupplying them as of now. but the rebels are becoming increasingly successful with their attacks. the big wildcard if russia tries to figure out a way to nego
that if some point* russia will abandon assad the rebels think russia will lose all influence which is what they do not want to do. then there would be a transitional government, of constitution, the election for right now it does not seem they will take any part of the deal. the human toll is astronomical refugees growing exponentially. 150,000 across the border in turkey. also jordan mostly women and children. in the long term what will we do with these people on top of those who have lost loved ones? tracy: humanitarian crisis. will we finally see president assad go quietly? a christmas wish for peace and syria. with us we have volleyed carries you know, this better than anyone. starting with egypt president morsi completes a referendum you say it is the totalitarian it is long state? >> and a referendum without democracy moving forward but without acting as a democratic president in egypt despite the fall of dictator it is established by president marcy most of symbols -- societe they all oppose morsi so it does not look like in 2013 we will see a more democratic egypt. tracy: then wha
. >>> in syria the military police chief has defected from president assad's government. this video shows a man identified as the official. i want you to take a listen. >> translator: i announce my defection from the regime and joining the peoples revolution because the syrian military has strayed from the core mission in protecting the homeland to become nothing but an armed gangs that kill and destroy cities and villages carrying out massacres that came out demanding freedom and dignity. >> pretty strong words. this would be one of the highest level defections in the 21 months they've been fighting. the prime minister and general were close to al assad and they also left the regime in recent months. first of all, tell us, this guy, i mean he essentially says they're thugs going after their own people. this seems pretty significant. >> reporter: well, that's right. he's identified on this tape as the general. aside from the video, we spoke with officials from the free syrian army today. they confirmed to us and helped this man escape syria and he's now in turkey. they say it's significant beca
president bashar assad. working to negotiate an end to the fighting of the syrian army and rebel forces. what happened in the the violence increased dramatically in recent days since his arrival. and just yesterday activist said a government air strike killed dozens of men, women and children. they were waiting in a bread line in central syria and dozens more civilians were wounded. this is amateur video it. it appears to show the aftermath. fox news working to confirm that. let's get back to leland vittert live on the west bank. what's the latest? >> jamie, the rebels are now claiming president assad's forces are using some type of poison gas or some type of chemical weapon against them. again, not something that we can confirm independently but if it is true, it would mark a major escalation. >> ache if i vistas upload offed a number of videos claiming to be victims receiving treatment in a local hospital. while the video is totally unconfirmable. it appears it show people suffering have tear gas and other irgantz and not suffering from chemical weapons like saran gas. time and moment
is happening to bashar al assad. dramatic high-level defections that show no signs of slowing down while a civil war rages on. more and more it seems people in the regime do not believe the government will win, and so they are abandoning it. assad's chief of military police, his defection enforcer, this week was almost poetic, before defecting his job was to stop other people from defecting. his department was literally tasked with shoring up the loyalty of the armed forces. and he didn't just easily and casually walk out of the country. according to opposition figures, who talked to the "new york times," he planned his escape for weeks and it "ended with a four-hour sprint by motorcycle to the turkish border, driving through woods and on muddy roads." the syrian spokesperson, the one who said publicly that the assad regime would not use chemical weapons on his people, he supposedly left weeks ago, and no one seems to know where he even is. the guardian reports he might be in the united states working with intelligence officials. something the state department denies. meanwhile, an oppos
and the u.n. has still not been able to remove president bashir al assad after months and months of in-country conflict there. what can the president do. not only from a standpoint of the white house, but from an international coalition to look at getting bashir al assad out? >> i mean, we've been working on it for quite some time. we didn't want to get militarily involved. we've seen what happens when we do get militarily involved. we don't like the results. take a look at libya. take a look at egypt, for example. so though we think -- we know we're on the side of right. there's one big ondestruction, and that is russia. russia is a series of clients of russia's, putin has said, you guys, you americans, you can't be sank moneyus about how people live their lives. you want everybody to be like the united states. okay. you saw what happens when you try to foment democracy in places that aren't ready for it. we're here to tell you that if you try to upend assad, even if he is going to ethwe'll go out of business -- >> on his own accord. >> on his own, if you try to do that, you won't lik
to back in jeune. but, of course, getting agreement if there fr. the assad side and the rebels the and the government, that's a tall order. he's an experienced negotiator. there seems to be some momentum with a flurry of talks and shuttle-type dip ploemmy but he still said and lamented syria is deteriorating rapidly. and as he said there's no u.s./russian plan. there may be discussions on options. can will there a transitional government formed and then elections but we're still not at that stage yet, suzanne. >> do we think he's bringing anything to the table that kofi annan did not who failed in brings these sides together? >> yes. and in failed, it may be a matter of timing. certainly the matter of violence has an eastbound. 40,000 report lid dead. brahimi has not had that success either but he's plugging away. he's been the man in the field from the u.n. from haiti to yemen. he's not going to give up at the moment, but the key is russia perhaps may be pulling slightly away from president assad, wa wanting to get something resolved but moments ago it was said that the plan t
in syria will be one of the big questions facing the next secretary of state. nato accused the assad government today of continuing to fire more scud missiles on its own people, claiming it was an act of desperation of a regime nearing its end. making matters worse, the harsh conditions of winter are saddling in. an organization has spoken to many people inside syria and found the conditions they are in during. here is our world affairs correspondent. >> people queueing outside a bakery in damascus in recent days. residents of the capital and activists say there have been shortages of bread, and fighting has made it increasingly difficult for bread factories to operate. food shortages are part of the pressure on syrian families highlighted in today's report. >> this 2.5 million people who are homeless in the country. 3.5 million getting there. others are grounding rice to feed their children. >> the supply of electricity in damascus is becoming more erratic as well. more and more people are relying on generators with some shops saying they are selling as many as 25 generators a day.
of a solution. whatever may have emerged in his talks with bashar al assad, he was not giving much away. >> i briefed the president about my meetings and talks with officials in the region and beyond and about the steps i think i necessary to help the syrian people come out of this crisis. the situation in syria remains worrying. we hope all parties will be able to find a solution that meets the aspirations and hopes of the syrian people. >> as the regime loses ever more ground to the rebels, there is fear it may resort to everything in its arsenal. there are unproven allegations that it is using some form of gas on the battlefront. activists say seven rebels have died from it with dozens of others affected. it smells like phosphorus, this one says. "it suffocates you. it makes you feel like your eyes are popping out, and the smell is unbearable." these weapons are unquestionably been used as the rebels are gaining more and more ground, but there is still fighting to do before they can get power in damascus, where the regime is showing no public sign of being ready to give up. bbc news, be re
in condemning the brutality of the assad regime. >> no one wants to determine what happened that night in benghazi more than the president and i do. >> and this administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a coverup. >> a red line should be drawn right here. before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bottom. >> -- bomb. >> i will not keep american es in harm's way a single day required than is absolutely necessary for our national security. gwen: there's a lot of unfinished business. >> you can call the year of 2012 the year of unsolved problems. par of that didn't include, congress orks north korea. even china is bumping up against its neighbors and it's striking how little of this was discussed. but the economy always gets in the way of foreign policy. about the only piece to foreign policy that made its way to the campaign is first president obama's often repeated claim that he had taken doubt osama bin laden. and the benghazi. there's a coverup going here. something's wrong. it ended up being the wrangled poor su
foreign minister has been in russia for talks. he was reportedly sent to moscow by bashar al-assad. . expect an announcement on the outcome of those talks later on a thursday. this activity a shows police shelling in the tone of rastan, an important town for the rebels, who have a large presence there. there's been your children being killed on the internet. a warning, the report begins with a disturbing pictures. >> these are the bodies of civilians who civilian activists say are the victims of government shelling in the northern province. other videos show heavy fighting in several areas. government tanks on the outskirts of homs, where intense fighting continues. smoke rising. the government still enjoys superiority and is using it without preserve -- reserve. but these rebel fighters in the suburbs of damascus are getting ready. they are training here for a future syrian army. cracks after liberating several areas and the total control of other areas, we have now shifted toward building a new foundation for the syrian national army. our main goal is to topple the regime, the al
. the major is one of the highest ranking military officers to abandon president bashar al assad. >>> and officials in newtown, connecticut have a message for well wishers in the wake of the school shooting that claimed 26 lives. please stop sending gifts. they say they're overwhelmed with all the stuffed animals and toys. >>> meantime, newtown officials say they have a plan for all the flowers and gifts left at roadside tributes. george coley has that story. >> reporter: if the outpouring of love and support for the residents of newtown can be measured by the growing memorials spread throughout the community then it is overflowing. john and his son aidan from pennsylvania stopped to drop off flowers on the way to visiting relatives in massachusetts. >> we wanted to pay tribute to all the childrenard teacher who have lost their lives in this great tragedy. >> reporter: now, the town is making preparation for what to do with all the mementos. and the decision is to leave everything behind for the construction of a permanent memorial. the plan is to turn everything that's bio degra
's allied itself with president bashira a assad. the regime is anxious to showcase its community showing supporters willing to reinforce the line. it's a terrorist campaign by extremists. >> are you afraid they'll come here? >> of course we're afraid, the governor told me, if they don't stop. the conflict will come here. so far local authorities have kept it at baby supporting violent crackdowns on the slightest sign of anti-regime protests. the strategy worked because government critics in this community were always a vocal but small minority. it's made sway da an island of calm and a refuge. about 10,000 of the almost half a million people placed inside syria have been offered shelter by the local government. they're housed in a local summer camp about two miles from the center of town. we escaped here, says this grandfather, to keep our children safe. >> we want peace. >> reporter: this young man speaks for everyone when he says all we want is peace. they've got it for the moment. but with the battle now under way all around the town, this small enclave of stability looks very vulnera
clearly with momentum on their side refuse to discuss a plan allowing assad to stay in power in the transition period. wounded fighter explained the rebel mentality. "we will keep going until we reach bashar assad's palace," he said, "from the hospital bed." rebels capturing more ground and prospect of a long civil war scene unavoidable. israel will do the utmost to defend itself against threat that the israeli prime minister in graduation from the pilot. netanyahu himself flew to jordan for a meeting with the king apt how to secure syria's chemical weapon. jordan knows firsthand problem of syria civil war. hundredhundreds if not thousandf syrian ref few gees enter the kingdom every day. we see bodies and blood in the streets says this man. heading to safety. >> in many ways the syrian civil war is a proxy war in arab world. both sides have little interest in peace deal and they are happy to supply weapons and money for as long as syrians are willing to kill each other. doug? >> doug: thank you, leland vittert. in a bold move, putin says he will sign a bill banning americans
assad and his regime would result to utilizing those weapons. we should add, though, that the regime said on many occasions that they don't have chemical weapons. they said if they did, they would never utilize those weapons against their own population. it is, however, still very much a concern. world powers telling indirectly and directly h lly that he shou no means consider using these weapons. we heard from past officials that they believe they've seen intelligence that syria might be mixing chemicals as a way to, as a precursor to start making nerve agents and they haven't seen anything to suggest that they'll utilize this any time soon. >> how much pressure do you think was applied on syria to do this. is russia trying in a way to rule out one more altogether in favor of foreign intervention? >> oh, absolutely. russia does not want to see foreign intervention. they think if they can convince to not use these weapons and convince the international community that the russia regime is not going to use these weapons and safe guard these weapons and that would take pressure away fro
of anti-assad sentiment in that town. because of that, they believe this town was deliberately targeted as a part of a retaliation plan by the government. don? >> russian diplomats have been talking about possible asylum for assad. this bombing today has to play a part in the discussions in damascus. >> reporter: well, we certainly think it would have to, absolutely. and really is there any more striking juxtaposition as far as the failed attempts thus far by the diplomatic efforts of people like brahimi and kofi annan before him when you compare that to the horror on the ground, where hundred dollars of people have been killed according to the activists. time and again we've seen brahimi or before him kofi annan, regional power players, international power players, the u.n. and the arab league try to go into syria and try to forge some sort of path to peace, and why et it seems to have fallen on deaf years. these peace plans don't seem to take hold. the activists we spoke to said they don't believe this time will be any dferent. they fear for what will happen next. in the nearly two ye
they were in necessary to get a referendum on the constitution. >> in syria, president assad's commander says he was defecting and joining the open sismgs he was one of the most senior members of the inner circle saying he defected because the army had been turned into a gang to kill and destroy during the 20 month uprising against president assad. >>"Áq russia's parliament approved a measure to ban americans from adopting russian children. the bill is a resfons a new u.s. law calling for sanctions against russians found to have violated human rights. official says 46 children about to be adopted by american citizens will stay in russia if this bill is signed. >> nelson mandela is back home. the 94-year-old had been in the hospital since december 8th diagnosed with a lung inzpex had a procedure to remove gall stones a spokesman says he will receive more care in his home until he fully recovers. >> officials in newtown, connecticut have come up with mj novel idea for what to do with all of the momentos sent po-to-pay tribute to the victims of the shooting. display will stay at the memori
in syria could reach catastrophic levels now that reports from bashar al-assad military's has loaded lethal chemical weapons into aerial bombs and is awaiting final orders to use them. here to tell us what it means and the economic impact is a former fbi special agent and national security and counterterrorism expert. thanks for coming on tonight. >> thank you. melissa: give us your reaction to the story. it seems like we're reaching a critical point. >> absolutely. this is extremely dangerous and probably one of the reasons secretary clinton agreed to meet with the russian foreign minister and rahim my, the u.n. ambassador for the syrian issue, the syrian dossier. if the regime uses chemical weapons or any weapons of mass destruction, the regime in syria, that is definitely an indication that it is a last act of desperation. melissa: yeah. >> i'm sure that the international community will try to prevent that in any way, shape or form. the syrian, the russian president, putin, a couple of days ago when he was in turkey, he gave some signals that the chemical weapons in syria are secure. so
president bashar al assad. >>> and an historic drought in america's midwest is threatening navigation and commerce of the mississippi river. sharply lower water levels and ice that is slowing water flow could disrupt critical barge traffic. contractors are working to remove rock formations in an effort to maintain a deep channel. >>> and america's population growth is slowing down. the government says it's due to lower birth rates during the economic recession and lower immigration numbers. as we start the new year, there will be 315 million people in the united states. the population, though, has grown less than .75% since 2010. so a slower rate of growth. still, 315 million people is -- >> seems like enough people in some places, that's for sure. thanks, lisa. >>> hopes have been crushed and families in the making ripped apart. a new law bans americans from adopting russian children. ng tom about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswag
into neighboring turkey and a daring break with the regime of syrian president bashar al-assad. in a statement to the news network, he accused the syrian military of turning on the people of syria. >> i am major-general abdul al- shallal, chief of the military police in syria. i declare my defection from the regime's army because of its deviation from its fundamental mission to protect the nation and its transformation to killing and destruction. >> his departure marks the key setback for the al-assad regime, as he was tasked with preventing defectors and with overseeing the imprisonment of civilian dissidents. egyptian president mohamed morsi has made a renewed call for national dialogue following the enactment of egypt's new constitution. in his first national address since signing the constitution into law, morsi called for unity in the aftermath of egypt's divisive referendum. >> because of this result, in order to build the nation, we must all come to gather, which is why dialogue has become a necessity we cannot do without. we all seek within this framework a dialogue of national unity o
against bashar al-assad shows no signs of slowing down. the bloody uprising blamed for tens of thousands of deaths. ralph peters is a fox news strategic analyst and joins us with more incite on this. how significant is this defection. >> it is significance. it's not by itself going to topple the regime. it's a real propaganda victory for the rebels. it tells us all that the last rats are deserting the sinking ship. he'll have very important information. in the syrian military the role of the military police is different than ours. the military police in syria, among other things they are the enforcers, behind the other shoulders making sure the other enforcers don't dessert, kill the people they are told to kill. this guy, this general is a real bad hombre, a real insider. bottom line, won't end things by itself but help the shirt does matter. heather: this all began roughly about 21 months ago with people protesting, asking for reforms. it turned into a civil war, estimates put about 40,000 people dead. are we any closer to the civil war being resolved? >> well, we are closer to bashar
seen the russians protect and on president assad for two years. they say this is a kind of situation or negotiating table that they want to get around. the rebels now believe that time is on their side. if we look at some of the video from the battlefields, we are seeing the momentum is starting to go their way during the battle that is on. they are better equipped, they have taken large parts of the northern part of the country, and they are also beginning to tighten around a lot of the central syrian cities, including damascus and trying to go all the way in videotapes, they said that they were going to go to bashar al-assad's house. the russians are changing their tune a little bit. the russians only foreign enable poor. one of the reasons they have been so locked up with they are thinking they want to keep their port. the russians are not the only one involved. lots of people sending weapons into syria. you have a war going on with the wrong, on the other side, you have weapons coming from saudi arabia and qatar in turkey and that is what is supplying the rebels in the civil war
.n. envoy to syria met with president bashar al-assad in damascus, but he gave no sign of progress toward halting the civil war. lakhdar brahimi spoke with assad as part of a two-day visit. brahimi was appointed envoy in september, but he's made little apparent headway. the latest visit came a day after opposition groups reported a government air strike on a bakery killed at least 60 people. authorities in india restricted vehicle and railroad travel in new delhi today, in the wake of violent protests over a gang rape. on sunday, police sprayed tear gas and water cannons after crowds began throwing stones and tipping over vehicles. the protesters demanded stronger punishments for crimes against women after a 23-year old woman was attacked on a public bus last week. the victim was thrown from the bus afterward. she remains in critical condition. six arrests have been made. washington was quiet today with the president and congress gone for christmas. but the lack of any fiscal cliff talks worried wall street. the dow jones industrial average lost more than 51 points to close at 13,139. the
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